Saturday, October 24, 2015

Nothing to Fear

Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal-Duke of Richelieu and Fronsac, 17th century Prime Minister of France, reputedly said something to the effect of:

"Give me six lines written by an honest man and I will find something in it to hang him with".

There are probably many things he said, that he didn't say, but it is a nice quote.

Beware of a Man in a Dress

The French encrypted communications up to the early 19th century, using simple ciphers known as petits chiffres. These were short notes, based on 50 numbers. Later, they began to write letters using a combination of 150 numbers, known as the Army of Portugal Code.  By 1812, new cipher tables were sent from Paris based on 1400 numbers and derived from a mid-18th century diplomatic code.

 18th Century Paris Cipher

Many people think that 'If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear', or simply state 'I have nothing to hide', meaning that they don't care about ubiquitous government surveillance.  Well, if you are that boring, then no-one would want to talk to you!

In reality, even the worst, boring, dullards try to keep their bank account, tax return, passport and credit card private and even Germans usually at least wear budgie smugglers when they go for a swim...

To me, the biggest problem is organized criminals who can drain a bank account in seconds, ruin your credit rating, sell your house while you are on holiday and state security agents acting like the infamous Cardinal, who can plant incriminating evidence on your IT systems to hang you with.  Just watch what is happening to Hillary Clinton and the Aussie PM who ran private email servers, which were legal at the time, but which are now being systematically stuffed with 'new discoveries' of 'classified information', much like the tiny mountain cabin of Ted Kazinsky, that was searched multiple times and each time delivered a treasure trove of new 'evidence' - there must have been a rather large cave under O'l Ted's shack.

Encrypt everything!

Encrypt your phone, your tablet, your laptop PC, your desktop PC, your email.  Buy a Black Phone.  Use the Red Phone.  Install RetroShare.  Use Free Software.

Use Keepass to save the passwords and keep the master password in your wallet if you don't trust your memory.

Do not make it easy for online miscreants hiding in their mother's basement on the other side of the world, to destroy your life.

Upon the death of the most revered Cardinal, Francois Marie Arouet (Voltaire), who wrote rather more than six lines criticizing the dear Cardinal said:

'He was a kind and generous man, 
provided of course, that he is really dead.'

Ecrasez l'Infame.

Herman



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